Aug 282015
 
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Nat Berhe and Ereck Flowers, New York Giants (July 31, 2015)

Nat Berhe and Ereck Flowers – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants have most likely lost yet another safety for the season. Second-year defensive back Nat Berhe will undergo surgery on his calf on Friday to remove a blood clot. The surgery is expected to land Berhe on season-ending Injured Reserve, although there is a chance he could be placed on short-term Injured Reserve. The Giants have already lost safeties Mykkele Thompson (torn Achilles’ tendon), Bennett Jackson (torn ACL), and Justine Currie (fractured ankle and leg) for the year.

Berhe originally injured his calf in May while running. He missed most of the spring practices and almost all of training camp. Berhe returned to practice on Tuesday but re-aggravating the injury and missed practice on Wednesday.

The only safeties now on the roster include Landon Collins, Cooper Taylor, Jeromy Miles, Brandon Meriweather, Justin Halley, and C.J. Conway. Both Collins (knee) and Taylor (toe) have themselves missed valuable time due to injuries. Veteran journeymen Miles and Meriweather have been starting at safety in practice this week. Halley and Conway are rookie free agent long shots who were signed after injuries began hitting the safety position.

Giants.com Interview with Head Coach Tom Coughlin: A video of a Giants.com interview with Head Coach Tom Coughlin is available at Giants.com.

Aug 262015
 
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Osi Umenyiora, New York Giants (December 9, 2012)

Osi Umenyiora – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants held a retirement ceremony for former Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora on Wednesday. Umenyiora played for the Giants from 2003 until 2012 and was an important part of two NFL Championship teams with New York. Umenyiora played his last two seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons. He chose to retire as a New York Giant by signing a 1-day contract with the team that drafted him in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft.

“I played 10 years here,” said Umenyiora. “There was literally no doubt in my mind about what I wanted to do. Hindsight is 20/20. I think when it was time for me to leave and go to Atlanta, I was excited about it. But once I got there, I was like, ‘damn.’ You know? You miss everything, man. There’s nothing like being a New York Giant. And I wish some of the players here would truly understand that, because it’s easy to think one thing, but once you get the chance to go someplace else and experience something, you truly realize what family is. And New York is home for me. I would literally be on the plane coming back from games, and I loved my Atlanta teammates, don’t get me wrong. We would be watching games, we’d be watching the Giants. I would be openly cheering for the Giants in a plane full of Atlanta Falcons. They would be looking at me, ‘Is this guy out of his mind? What are you doing?’ I just couldn’t help myself. It was that Giant in me. So there was no doubt about when it was time for me to retire, I was going to come here.”

“Osi is one of my all-time favorite Giants,” General Manager Jerry Reese said. “Everyone was enamored with his speed, but he was a strong, physical player, as well, in his prime. I don’t think he got enough credit for that. Because he could also use speed to power on a guy. He’d start doing that speed stuff, but he’d turn it into power, and push a guy right back into the quarterback. I’ve seen him do that many, many times. And he played the run pretty well.”

“He was fun,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin about coaching Umenyiora. “He was a good guy. The one thing that probably went below the surface [was] what a job he did preparing. He studied those left tackles and he knew them – he knew the guy he was going against inside and out and that was really, I thought, the key to his success, that and the fact that he was very fast [and] very confident. When he stepped on the field, the guys around him knew that he was a very confident player, he was a master at his craft and that gave them great confidence, as well.”

“He is fun,” said former Giants teammate defensive end Michael Strahan. “I think about Osi, and I think about his smile. The most serious I ever saw him was right before the Super Bowl. For him, everything was a joke, everything was a laugh, everything was fun. I always laughed with him and he was truly my little brother. I tell people this all the time, on the field and off the field, he is somebody who is just like me. We both are Scorpios, we both thought the same. He and I would look at each other and we knew what the other was thinking. I’ve never had that with another player on the field. He was truly an extension of myself. I think that’s why we played well together, it’s why we get along. I love him to death.”

The transcript of Umenyiora’s full remarks at his retirement press conference is available at BigBlueInteractive.com. The video is available at Giants.com.

The Giants also created a video tribute to Umenyiora that is available at Giants.com.

Article on Former Giants DE Osi Umenyiora: D-Line greats talk Osi’s impact on the unit by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Aug 242015
 
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Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (November 9, 2014)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Report – Jason Pierre-Paul Expected to Report to the Giants Before Season: The NFL Network is reporting that New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is “expected to show up at the Giants facility” before the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on September 13. Pierre-Paul badly injured his right hand and arm in a fireworks accident on July 4. Pierre-Paul had his right index finger amputated at the knuckle and he is assumed to have at least fractured his right thumb and suffered third-degree burns that required skin grafts on his lower right arm. But since Pierre-Paul remains an unsigned Franchise player, the Giants have been unable to examine him to discover the true extent of the injuries.

The NFL Network is also reporting that it is unknown if Pierre-Paul would be able to play in the opener or whether he will take “a few weeks to round into form.” Three unidentified sources told The NFL Network that Pierre-Paul is “progressing well” in his recovery.

Pierre-Paul’s 1-year, $14.813 million Franchise tender has not been rescinded by the Giants. But if Pierre-Paul signs the tender, the Giants still could put him on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) List and not pay him until for up to the first six weeks of the regular season.

Osi Umenyiora to Retire a Giant on Wednesday: Former New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora will officially retire as a New York Giant at a ceremony at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Wednesday. Umenyiora played for the Giants from 2003 until 2012 and was a key part in two NFL Championship teams for New York. Umenyiora signed with the Atlanta Falcons in 2013 and played the last two seasons there.

Article on WR Geremy Davis: ‘Every play is important’: Life as a Giants WR on the fringe by Geremy Davis for The New York Post

Article on TE Larry Donnell: This kind of holding won’t be a penalty on Giants’ Larry Donnell by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on PK Josh Brown: Giants’ Josh Brown takes preseason kicking routine seriously by Tom Rock of Newsday

Aug 232015
 
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Bennett Jackson Has Torn ACL, Jon Beason Sprained Knee: As feared, New York Giants safety Bennett Jackson suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the closing minutes of Saturday night’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jackson, who started the game at safety and who had a legitimate shot to start at the position on opening day, will now be lost for the season. Jackson had microfracture surgery last year on his left knee after being signed to the Practice Squad.

“Bennett had been a guy that we had grabbed and he worked very, very hard at that job trying to give us another option there,” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said. “It’s just a sad thing to see it happen, because it’s difficult. He’s tackling a tight end and they get all twisted up on the bottom of a pile. He ends up underneath the tight end, and if you just watch him grimace, it comes when he’s on the ground. So I don’t know exactly what happened.”

The Giants also announced that safety Justin Currie fractured both his right fibula and ankle in the game. He will also be lost for the season.

With the loss of Jackson, Currie, and Mykkele Thompson (who ruptured his right Achilles’ tendon in the first preseason game), the Giants are once again very thin at the safety position. Landon Collins (knee), Nat Berhe (calf), and Cooper Taylor (toe) all missed the game on Saturday but are expected to return soon.

Meanwhile, linebacker Jon Beason suffered a sprained knee and is now considered “week-to-week” on when he might return. That time frame puts into doubt his availability for the season-opener against the Dallas Cowboys on September 13.

Linebacker Mark Herzlich suffered a concussion in the game; no word yet on when he might return. Linebacker Tony Johnson suffered a knee sprain and is “day-to-day.”

August 23, 2015 Head Coach Tom Coughlin Conference Call: Head Coach Tom Coughlin addressed the media on Sunday afternoon:

You know obviously we took some hits last night and we had some injuries and we are trying to decide in the next hour or so what we have and what we are going to do in terms of practice and what our needs might be just in preparing for this next game. I think that there is some information I can give you if you want to ask me specifically about certain people, that is fine but I don’t have the full collection of it and we do have everyone in here today since this is our normal day after the game. This will be an in-season type of a preparation this week so we are trying to make it as structured as much as possible according to what they can look forward to coming into the regular season, so we are doing that.

Having said that, there is no question that we did some things better last night. We were more aggressive, we were more physical, it was a good game. Both teams played a relatively clean game. We were plus-one (in turnovers), the defenses on both sides of the ball forced field goals throughout the majority of the night [and] as I said, there are some teaching issues here because in the one regard, we are lining up to kick a field goal, which would have been just another field goal. They jump offside and because it is less than five yards — we get a new set of downs and that is the series we score the only touchdown of the night, so that was something that certainly our players need to be very much aware of. The other thing I thought that was interesting from the standpoint of situations was we took the ball over on the minus-12, I believe it was a minus-12, with 1:25 to go in the game with one timeout, so we subsequently ran 12 plays and used up our timeout in a sack situation and we were at the 38-yard line for literally four straight snaps knowing full well that in that particular area and I’m talking about say from the 32-yard line beyond the 40-yard line, you’ve got a very important part of the field where decisions are made —difficult decisions are made whether to go for the long field goal, which obviously at stake is field position, whether to try to make a makeable third down and I’m saying something reasonable, or whether to have to pull back and even punt the ball, meaning that you have to have a very good…a punter that has the ability to place the ball in such a situation where you are not going to get a touchback because obviously that is not the circumstance.

Later on in the game when Ryan Nassib was in the game and he pulled the ball down in the second half and ran from the plus-37 to the plus-35, he gave us literally a chance to kick a 53-yard field. Now if we had thrown an incomplete pass or something from that standpoint and the ball would have stayed at the 37, there is no way we were going to kick a field goal even though it was only two more yards or 55 yards and you stretch yourself out a little bit, particularly if there is any kind of wind even kicking a 53-yarder, which the week before we had missed a long field goal and gave Cincinnati outstanding field position, so there were things like that, that came up all night. There was a couple of challenges that we utilized that proved to be good, that we were right. You aren’t always right. In that case, we were and again lots of people had a chance to play [and] lots of people did many, many different things.

We threw the ball probably a little bit more than I would have wanted to throw it, but we had 77 snaps in the game, which was good. We build up some snaps and play time but we still didn’t win possession by very much when you really look at it, not quite two minutes, so there were a bunch of things that happened in the game that were good for us to teach from. There were some outstanding aggressive special teams plays, there were tackles inside the 20, there was a long field goal, we had some very good individual plays on offense, the bench route to James Jones from Nassib which put us down in the 38-yard line and gave us a chance to even think before the half of having an opportunity to score a field goal where it was going to end up being a short gain with a clock play or getting it out of bounds. We had that circumstance, had a couple of decent runs by (Orleans) Darkwa, had a good run by Andre Williams, young Geremy Davis caught a nice ball on the sidelines and turned and tried to make it into more, which was very good. Dwayne Harris got the only touchdown of the night with a low…Ryan put it down low where the draped-over-his-back corner couldn’t get to the ball and Dwayne went down and made that difficult catch and gave us the score there on first and goal from the eight. We had Damontre Moore had a nice sack and forced fumble that we weren’t able to recover. We had the nice knockdown of the pass to the running back Robinson from Beason early in the game. Wade made a deep ball, knocked the ball away from the receiver on the deep post ball. Bromley and Kennard made a very nice stop, Unga made a nice tackle, Moore had a nice sack of Tuel, so there were plays like that that we can look at and say, ‘You know, those are outstanding plays’ and then of course there were plays that weren’t so good and that is what you have to concentrate on trying to improve upon.

Q: Do you have any updates on the health of Bennett Jackson and Jon Beason?

A: Bennett Jackson has an ACL and Jon Beason has a sprained knee.

Q: Is there a timetable for Beason with the sprain and how do you sort of progress from there with that one?

A: That is a tough one, you know. These things are all different. For me, without some doctor or expert telling me what to think in terms of the amount of time out, I’m not going to speculate but all these things end up being week to week and sometimes in these cases, it is longer than you think.

Q: Do you have to prepare now as if you will be without him for week one?

A: I don’t know. I’m not going to speculate on that probably until we see how this week goes and how the doctors have a chance to work with him a few days and maybe then they will have a better opinion about that.

Q: In the case that that does happen, this would be the reason that you have Jameel [McClain], correct? How much does that sort of help to have a veteran at least behind him. That was, I assume the plan or the reason to have a veteran like that around?

A: Well, all those things are true — you answered your own question there. We do have the benefit of a guy that’s played a lot of football and is very good in the huddle — does all those things extremely well. So you hate to think in terms of anything that stretches your depth right at this point in time, but it’s a reality in our league.

Q: With another injury there to a safety, where do things stand with [Nat] Berhe and Landon Collins?

A: Well, we think [Nat] Behre and [Landon] Collins are coming back this week. We hope Cooper Taylor comes back this week as well. Hopefully we’ll get some of those guys back.

Q: Obviously Bennett Jackson played with the first team yesterday. It’s not like you had a lot of first teamers out there late in the fourth quarter; what played into the decision to leave Jackson out there?

A: Well, that’s a good question. The problem is there were two safeties gone in the game as well, so what you were dealing with was very few people left that play the position. You know, Bennett had been a guy that we had grabbed and he worked very, very hard at that job trying to give us another option there, and it’s just a sad thing to see it happen, because it’s difficult. He’s tackling a tight end and they get all twisted up on the bottom of a pile — he ends up underneath the tight end, and if you just watch him grimace, it comes when he’s on the ground. So I don’t know exactly what happened — I haven’t been able to talk to him about that, but what went into it was the numbers situation and unfortunately that… you know, however it works, you can explain it all you want, but we were in a game where there was a forced opportunity more than anything else to have your numbers affected, but when we look at it from any number of players that were in the game that got a lot of snaps, whether it was planned or not, it was good for them. I can tell you that right now. As much as I said going in that we needed to play more, that we needed to see more of a lot of people working together — you know we certainly did get that chance last night.

Q: Where do you move forward now at safety… and cornerback?

A: We just got done saying that three of them are coming back, so that’s where we move forward. We have [Brandon] Meriweather here, we have three guys that we think are going to be able to practice and come back. So that’s where we are. There hasn’t been a lot of numbers available at any time. For whatever reason, there always seems to have been one or two of these guys that’s not able to practice. So in reality, it looks as if we’ll have four [safeties]. Maybe, and again I’m just speculating because we’re going to have roughly two days to try to figure out who can practice and what we can do, so that’s where we are, guys. Don’t ask me something that I can’t answer. I’m trying to do the best I can for you, and this is what it is.

Q: What have you seen from [Brandon] Meriweather? He got about 30 snaps last night — any sense on what he is right now?

A: Well, he’s a veteran safety that we know the style of play that he is best utilized in. He got his feet wet last night and I think he’ll improve and be better the next week.

Q: Justin Halley only played seven snaps there — is he injured as well?

A: No, no he wasn’t.

Q: What did you see from Uani Unga last night?

A: Aggressive, very good on special teams. Made a couple of nice plays at the mike backer position, and he seems to be a physical player.

Q: After looking at the tape, how did the offensive line, and in particular Ereck Flowers, come out of last night?

A: We thought he played well technically. Very sound, and he is improving. If you watch some of the run game, you see him move people off the ball. He did a nice job of that. He and [Justin] Pugh got involved in a couple of nice twist exchanges where we picked up in pass protection. You saw him aggressively go back and recover that ball on the ground, I know he’s listening because we’ve been harping on that. Let the officials tell you that it was an incomplete pass, and don’t let it lay on the ground. We’ve shown examples of that, so I think that there’s no doubt that each one of these experiences he’s grown and benefited from.

Q: How about [Geoff] Schwartz? What have you seen from him?

A: He played pretty well when he was playing at the guard spot — I don’t think quite as good at the tackle spot, but it was his first time out and he did get a lot of snaps, so it had to help him.

Q: Do you expect [Victor] Cruz and [Rueben] Randle back this week?

A: I really don’t know. The thing with Rueben has really confused me — he’s been able to handle this so well over the years, and yet this circumstance has been bothersome. There was so much speculation going in about having these people work together. We haven’t really seen them work together yet and we’re this far into camp, so… and the same thing with Victor. We’re just going to have to — when they tell us they can go, they can go.

Q: It’s still just tendinitis for Rueben [Randle] or are they worried it’s something else?

A: Nope. That’s basically what I’m being told.

Q: What’s the plan going forward here with [Geoff] Schwartz and the offensive line?

A: Keep playing them all. Keep playing them all. Watch, watch. I’m not going to verbally give you any… what’s the plan? The plan is to let them play and practice and see where we can go and figure out exactly who are the best five. That’s the plan.

Q: What have you seen from Markus Kuhn so far in these first two preseason games? We’ve seen him with the first team almost all summer. What has he done to earn that trust in you guys?

A: Well, he’s a big, strong guy. We’ve talked an awful lot about stopping the run, and he can hold the point in there, which he’s done over and over. He’s very smart, and so we look at him as a guy that can anchor down in there and can knock back off the ball. And he’s pretty much done that.

August 23, 2015 Player Media Q&As: Transcripts of media conference calls with the following players are available on BigBlueInteractive.com:

Article on the New York Giants Defense: Jason Pierre-Paul could still help Giants pass rush by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Aug 232015
 
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New York Giants (August 22, 2015)

New York Giants – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants 22 – Jacksonville Jaguars 12: The New York Giants defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 22-12 in the team’s second preseason game of the summer on Saturday night at MetLife Stadium. The Giants improved their preseason record to 1-1.

Despite the victory, the Giants received more bad news on the injury front. Counting the two players already on Injured Reserve, a team missing 16 players coming into the game, including eight defensive backs, was hit hard again by injuries. The most serious initially appears to be to safety Justin Currie who fractured his right ankle. But there are fears that Bennett Jackson, who started the game at safety, may have torn the ACL in his right knee. Also leaving the game early were linebacker Jon Beason (knee sprain), linebacker Mark Herzlich (concussion), and linebacker Tony Johnson (knee sprain). Offensive guard Adam Gettis (stinger) also left the game but returned.

The final score was misleading in that Jacksonville’s starters out-played New York for most of the first half. The problems on offense were in the passing game as quarterback Eli Manning (4-of-14 for 46 yards) was off the mark and he was not helped out by wide receivers such as Odell Beckham (no catches despite five throws in his direction) and Preston Parker (one catch on four passes thrown his way) who short-armed or dropped passes. The starting offense with Manning in the game only gained 76 yards and five first downs on three drives. The good news on offense was that the line and running backs looked good. Place kicker Josh Brown made field goals of 51 and 43 yards in the first half.

Defensively, the starting defense once again had issues stopping the opposition as Jacksonville’s offense put together three straight scoring drives of 10 plays or more to start the contest. The Jaguars had to settle for three field goals however.

The Giants dominated the second half of the game as New York scored on four straight scoring drives to take a 22-9 advantage until late in the 4th quarter. The only touchdown came on an 8-yard throw from quarterback Ryan Nassib to wide receiver Dwayne Harris. Nassib finished the night 19-of-35 for 217 yards. Brown also added three more field goals, including from 53, 37, and 28 yards out. The Jaguars only gained one first down in the second half until their final drive that resulted in a 55-yard field goal with two minutes to play.

The leading receivers for the Giants were wideouts James Jones (five catches for 83 yards) and Geremy Davis (four catches for 43 yards). Running back Orleans Darkwa carried the ball six times for 25 yards while the top backs of Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams, and Shane Vereen totaled a combined 30 yards on seven carries.

Defensively, defensive end Damontre Moore accrued two sacks while linebacker J.T. Thomas had one sack that also caused a fumble that linebacker Devon Kennard recovered.

Video highlights/lowlights of the game are available at NFL.com.

Post-Game Notes: Not playing were wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf strain), wide receiver Rueben Randle (knee tendinitis), wide receiver Julian Talley (toe), right tackle Brandon Mosley (back), left tackle Will Beatty (PUP – pectoral), defensive end George Selvie (knee), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (unknown), cornerback Prince Amukamara (groin), cornerback Chykie Brown (knee), cornerback Jayron Hosley (concussion), cornerback Chandler Fenner (unknown), safety Landon Collins (knee sprain), safety Nat Berhe (calf), and safety Cooper Taylor (toe) did not practice.

Articles on QB Eli Manning:

Articles on New York Giants Wide Receivers:

Article on LT Ereck Flowers: Giants massive rookie LT Flowers not about small talk by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Article on DE Kerry Wynn: From undrafted rookie to Giants starter? Kerry Wynn eager to show he can make Big Blue’s defense better by Ebenezer Samuel of The New York Daily News

Article on CB Trevin Wade: Giants’ long shot making waves by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Article on S Landon Collins: Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina ripped through Landon Collins’ life, but the experience didn’t derail the young Giants safety by Kevin Armstrong of The New York Daily News

Aug 182015
 
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Jimmy Staten, Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (October 20, 2012)

Jimmy Staten (#90) – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Giants Claim DT Jimmy Staten Off of Waivers; Release DT Carlif Taylor: According to multiple press sources, the New York Giants have claimed defensive tackle Jimmy Staten off of waivers from the Seattle Seahawks. To make room for Staten, the Giants waived rookie free agent defensive tackle Carlif Taylor.

Staten was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Seahawks. He spent his rookie season on Seattle’s Practice Squad. Staten has decent size (6’3”, 311 pounds) with good strength. He is a better run defender than pass rusher. Staten is a raw, developmental type, but he is hard worker.

Injury Update on DE George Selvie and S Mykkele Thompson: According to NJ.com, the knee injury suffered by defensive end George Selvie in practice on Monday is thought to be a relatively minor knee strain.

Meanwhile, safety Mykkele Thompson, who suffered a season-ending torn Achilles’ tendon injury in the preseason game last Friday, tweeted he underwent successful surgery. Recovery from Achilles’ ruptures can be tricky and it remains to be seen if the injury is career-threatening.

Articles on Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo:

Articles on QB Eli Manning:

Article on RB Andre Williams: How Giants’ Andre Williams is fixing his biggest weakness by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on TE Larry Donnell: Giants’ Larry Donnell: Game vs. Cincinnati Bengals was ‘best I’ve felt blocking since I’ve been here’ by James Kratch for NJ.com

Articles on New York Giants Defensive Ends:

Articles on S Brandon Meriweather:

Article on the 2015 New York Giants: Latest Giants 53-man roster prediction doesn’t include James Jones, Adrien Robinson by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Aug 152015
 
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Mykkele Thompson, New York Giants (August 14, 2015)

Mykkele Thompson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Mykkele Thompson Lost for Year; Landon Collins MCL Sprain: As feared, New York Giants safety Mykkele Thompson’s season is over. The 2015 5th-round draft pick ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in the team’s 23-10 preseason loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday night.

It also appears the Giants will be without fellow rookie safety Landon Collins for at least a couple of weeks. Collins sprained the MCL in one of his knees in the game. Collins was the team’s 2nd-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

“I would say it’s longer than a week (that Collins will be out),” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

Coughlin could not provide an update on cornerback Jayron Hosley, who suffered a neck injury and a possible concussion in the game as well. “I don’t have any information for you yet (on Hosley). I’m hoping that this is not a long term deal,” said Coughlin.

Cornerback Trumaine McBride also left the contest early with a hamstring injury, but there was no update.

Wide receiver Rueben Randle (knee tendinitis) left the game after only a few plays. “He had struggled when we first got to the practices,” said Coughlin of Randle. “His tendinitis, his patellar tendinitis had bothered him after a couple days off of his feet. He thought he could play, he did not warm-up well, we probably should have shut him down right away, but he had played a few snaps. He definitely was not himself and he was in pain.”

Coughlin was asked about three defensive backs who did not play in the game: cornerback Prince Amukamara (groin), cornerback Chykie Brown (knee), and safety Nat Berhe (calf).

“I don’t see (Brown) coming back right away this week,” said Coughlin.

Coughlin was hopeful that Berhe could return soon, but did not provide much clarification regarding Amukamara.

August 15, 2015 Head Coach Tom Coughlin Conference Call: The following is the transcript from Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s conference call on Saturday afternoon:

Good afternoon everyone, I just had a staff meeting and I spent most of the day looking at the tape. I said just about everything I needed to say last night. It’s the first preseason game. We were able to get everybody dressed into the football game, which was good. We didn’t play well with our ones and perhaps didn’t play well throughout the entire night. We still had chances. As you all know, we ran a kickoff back to the 35, accepted the ball and ran it back to the 35, and then did really nothing with it after we got it in to that point.

Our first group gave up an easy touchdown with Cincinnati driving the ball with their ones then they took primarily their first group out of the game. Offensive team, Eli (Manning) played 15 plays, and the offensive line played 24 plays. I think with Eli we had one opportunity and we did not make it on 3rd and 1. We had a pass in there that was dropped, which would have been our only third down opportunity. Otherwise we really were just three and out, three and out, three and out type things, so not pleased at all with that.

I expected much more, don’t know what the issue was with that, but it does put into perspective the entire day, the work that has to be done and put in here. Questions are going to be asked about the offensive line, we did some things okay. Everybody wants to know how (Ereck) Flowers played, I thought he played okay. I just think as a group we weren’t able to execute together in any capacity that allowed us to have total success with a play. For example, the ball would be run to the left, it would look like we would get to the perimeter and be able to make a nice run with it, and perhaps one of the backside people would have been beaten and a defender was there for a potential cutback or caught the ball carrier before he got to the corner.

I didn’t think our receivers played well. I thought our execution left a lot to be desired and I thought the details and the route work was not very good. We did have a couple opportunities that we let get away from us, particularly there was a post ball that I thought we could have hit for a touchdown, and we didn’t get that done. The quarterback was forced out of the pocket, but prior to that, I thought he could have made a play possibly and got the ball down the field. It was one of those deals where their secondary perhaps was making an error.

As I said, we played a lot of people, had some chances and didn’t do very well with the ones that we had, and then the backup players had an opportunity to get plenty of snaps, and they did get play time, but it wasn’t of a productive nature as such.

We did have a couple of injuries. We all know today the achilles injury to (Mykkele) Thompson. I feel really bad for that young guy and (Landon) Collins has a MCL sprain, and you’re going to ask me how long, but I really don’t know. We’ll see. A lot of that is up to the individual.

Q: Is the season over for Thompson?

His season is over, yes.

Q: Speak on (Rueben) Randle’s knee injury

He had struggled when we first got to the practices. His tendinitis, his patellar tendinitis had bothered him after a couple days off of his feet. He thought he could play, he did not warm-up well, we probably should have shut him down right away, but he had played a few snaps. He definitely was not himself and he was in pain.

Q: You usually don’t play guys who don’t practice, why was it different this time?  Was it because this is the preseason?

No, I don’t necessarily agree with your statement. He missed two practice days but the trainers felt and he wanted to go, and he felt like he could go, and with that regard, the number of snaps that anyone was going to get made that a little bit easier decision when the trainers said he can play.

Q: What’s your level of concern after losing the two rookie safeties?

The level of concern has been there since day one because of the nature of where we are. Even going back to Nat Berhe being unable to come in here and practice, one of the few remaining safeties from our roster of a year ago. We obviously drafted two young players that we know were going to be able to help. Now we’ve lost one of those guys, the other issue is how quickly Landon can come back so he doesn’t miss out on anything, because he definitely needed last night. To be honest with you, he needed it. In order to be able to be in position, I think to where he’s seen a great deal of what takes place in the National Football League, and has been in games, and has had a chance to prepare and play, he needed last night. He didn’t get much last night, so certainly there’s concern.

Q: Where does Berhe stand? Is there any update on that? Any closer to maybe coming back than in the past week or so?

A: Well, I hope so. I hope so. I really don’t have much information yet from Ronnie (Barnes) or today’s medical, but I’m hoping that he’s—when we brought him back before, we thought he was going to be able to work his way through this thing before and then all of a sudden he got sore again. Whenever we do get the green light to bring him back, we will do so and we will always have to, and I think until proven, we will have to keep our fingers crossed that he can spend some consistent time on the field and get himself in position to where he can play.

Q: What did you see from the safeties who were out there? Specifically Jeromy Miles and Cooper Taylor?

A: Miles knows the defense and he’s been around Steve Spagnuolo. There’s a guy who we’re fortunate that we have here, to sign now, because of all that. Cooper is learning. He’s learning, he’s come in and after having had all that time off—so he’s started to come back and hopefully he’ll keep growing and learning and so on and so forth. That’s the way, those are the guys that we have and we will work hard to get those guys ready to play.

Q: What did you think about how the safeties performed overall last night when you watched the tape? And what kind of happened on that first touchdown? I know you kind of ran a safety onto the field and it seemed like one of them wasn’t in the right spot on the first touchdown.

A: Yeah, I saw what you saw, but how did they play last night? They did okay. There wasn’t anything overly, overly glaring. Certainly there were some penalties down the field, not that they were involved but it seemed to be as much of anything the big plays. Let them play. Let’s let them play and then we will take it step by step. Certainly as teams become more sophisticated and more comfortable with what they’re going to eventually be represented of their offense, we’ll see more of the ball in the air and we’ll see more of the safeties having to be involved in the play, not only coming to the line of scrimmage but also playing the pass. I can’t answer the questions you want because we’ve got to play some games with these guys back there and see how they go, see how they do.

Q: Is there a chance that Collins is in practice next week? Or is it thinking something longer?

A: I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that. I would say it’s longer than a week.

Q: Now that Bennett Jackson is that sort of a nickel-cover guy, slot-cover guy, is he going to have to move to safety full-time now?

A: Well, we were able to bring him down from safety to play the nickel position and he also plays the safety position in that first and second down. So hopefully we can continue to do that. Certainly, he’s going to have to play more safety now.

Q: Did you have an update for Jayron Hosley? With his neck?

A: I don’t have any information for you yet. I’m hoping that this is not a long term deal. See if he can get back in there because he needs the play time and he showed that he certainly can get himself in position and do some of the things we have to do at the corner spot. Didn’t have a bad night at all prior to getting the injury and the injury came flying to  the line of scrimmage and he made a tackle in which he got his head banged around a little bit. I don’t have anything for you yet from today, but we’re hoping that Hosley can be cleared to go here real quick.

Q: Is the expectation that Prince is going to be back this week? And either way, do you need to add corners just to have numbers now? Do you feel like you’re getting short at that position?

A: Well, you can certainly count as well as I can and you can never have enough of those guys anyways. If Prince comes back and we get even short-term notice on when some of these other guys will be back, we probably do have enough but otherwise, you’re right, we’ll be down in numbers.

Q: Do you know anything on Chykie Brown? What is the injury first of all and what was the original diagnosis?

A: I don’t see him coming back right away this week.

Aug 152015
 
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Mykkele Thompson, New York Giants (August 14, 2015)

Mykkele Thompson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Cincinnati Bengals 23 – New York Giants 10: The New York Giants were badly out-played by the Cincinnati Bengals in the team’s first preseason game. But worse for the Giants was the news on the injury front. The Giants lost four defensive backs in the game, one probably for the season.

Rookie safety Mykkele Thompson left with an Achilles injury. Head Coach Tom Coughlin said there is a “big concern” that he has ruptured his Achilles’ tendon. If so, he would be lost for the 2015 season. In addition, rookie safety Landon Collins (knee), cornerback Jayron Hosley (neck and possible concussion), and cornerback Trumaine McBride (hamstring) all left the game. Hosley will undergo an MRI on his neck and concussion tests. Collins was optimistic about his injury but will also undergo an MRI on his knee.

For a team already missing cornerback Prince Amukamara (groin), cornerback Chykie Brown (knee), and safety Nat Berhe (calf), the Giants already appear snake bit in the secondary.

As for the game, there were a few highlights from reserve players such as running back Orleans Darkwa, running back/returner Akeem Hunt, and cornerback Trevin Wade. The defensive line also flashed at times. But there were a lot of negatives including starters right guard John Jerry, right tackle Marshall Newhouse, and defensive tackle Markus Kuhn. The first-team defensive unit struggled and the Giants had trouble stopping the run all night. In a nutshell, the Giants had trouble moving the ball and the Bengals didn’t.

The Giants starting offense was so bad that Coughlin kept quarterback Eli Manning and the starting offense in for four drives and the entire first quarter. In 15 plays, they only gained 38 yards and one first down. Meanwhile, the Bengals starting offense cut through the Giants starting defense like butter on their only drive, moving 52 yards in six plays, four of those plays being first downs. The Bengals added a field goal on their second drive with starting quarterback Andy Dalton out of the game as Cincinnati quickly went up 10-0.

“Really, we just played against what we saw in practice against them this week,’’ said Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap. “We were fortunate they gave us some plays we were ready for. You can’t read a lot into this; it’s just one quarter of a preseason game.”

The Giants scored all of their points in the second quarter with quarterback Ryan Nassib at quarterback. The Giants first drove 67 yards in eight plays for a touchdown and then set up a 41-yard field goal after gaining 45 yards in nine plays. But the Bengals also added added another touchdown with an 11-play, 80-yard effort.

The Giants offense was dreadful in the second half, scoring no points. While the Bengals only kicked two field goals after the intermission, they had little problem moving the ball until reaching the Giants red zone.

Offensively, Eli Manning was only 4-of-8 for 22 yards, Ryan Nassib 8-of-18 for 79 yards, and Ricky Stanzi 3-of-7 for 34 yards. There were no touchdown throws or interceptions. The leading receiver was wideout Julian Talley who caught three passes for 34 yards. The leading running back was Darkwa who gained 52 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. The Giants big three of Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, and Andre Williams carried the ball six times for 16 yards. The Giants only gained 224 net yards and 13 first downs.

Defensively, the Giants gave up 432 net yards, including 225 rushing yards and 207 passing yards. The team gave up 29 first downs to the Bengals.

Akeem Hunt did return a kickoff 70 yards yards on special teams.

Video highlights/lowlights of the game are available at Giants.com.

Post-Game Notes: Not playing were wide receiver Victor Cruz (recovering from knee surgery), cornberback Prince Amukamara (groin), cornerback Chykie Brown (knee), offensive guard Geoff Schwartz (ankle), offensive tackle Will Beatty (PUP – pectoral), linebacker Jameel McClain (neck), and safety Nat Berhe (calf).

Article on the 2015 New York Giants: Carl Banks: Giants must assume JPP won’t be back by Ryan Lazo of The New York Post

Aug 132015
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BBI Giants-Bengals Preseason Game Preview: Our preview of Friday’s New York Giants-Cincinnati Bengals preseason game is now available in the Game Previews and Reviews section of the website.

August 13, 2015 New York Giants Player Q&As: The following transcripts and video clips of a player media sessions are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:

New York Giants Training Camp Articles:

Articles on the New York Giants Defensive Backs:

Giants-Bengals Practice Sights & Sounds: A sights and sounds video of the Giants-Bengals practices is available at Giants.com.

Aug 092015
 
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Frank Gifford, New York Giants (1953)

Frank Gifford, New York Giants (1953)

Frank Gifford, an All-Pro and Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinee, who spent all of his 12-year NFL career with the New York Football Giants during their golden era, passed away at his home in Connecticut at the age of 84.

The multi-talented Gifford was selected by New York with their first pick (11th overall) in the 1952 NFL Draft following a successful career at USC where he had been the Trojans’ starting tailback in 1951. Giants Head Coach Steve Owen preferred having his better athletes take the field on defense and played Gifford at defensive halfback. Despite his desire to play offense, Gifford played well enough on the defensive side of the football to earn Pro Bowl honors his rookie season.

In 1953, New York’s roster was decimated by injuries. By the second half of the season, Gifford was averaging approximately 50 minutes per game. In addition to defense, Gifford played offensive halfback, returned punts, place kicked, and covered kickoffs. At the end of the season his body was battered and he contemplated retirement. A regime change gave him a new outlook.

When Gifford reported to training camp in 1954, he was greeted by new head coach Jim Lee Howell’s offensive assistant. Gifford recalled the initial meeting in his autobiography The Whole Ten Yards: “He spotted me, walked over, and stuck out his hand. ‘Hiya,’ he said. ‘I’m Vince Lombardi.’ Then he uttered three words that changed the rest of my life. ‘You’re my halfback.’”

Lombardi moved the Giants offense into the modern era and beyond and made a star of Gifford as television audiences grew and the public noticed. Gifford was the feature element of New York’s bread-and-butter play: 49 Power Sweep. This sweep offered Gifford a tantalizing option, the ability to throw the ball downfield as he followed two pulling guards to the edge. If the defensive halfback stayed with the receiver, Gifford continued with the rush; if he stepped up to defend the run, Gifford pulled up and threw deep. Over his career Gifford completed 29-of-63 passes for 823 yards and 14 touchdowns with six interceptions.

Frank Gifford, New York Giants (November 17, 1957)

Frank Gifford, New York Giants (November 17, 1957)

Through the five seasons spanning from 1955 through 1959, Gifford led the Giants in both rushing and receiving every year. The 1956 season was Gifford’s personal best, rushing for 819 yards and catching 51 passes for 603 yards in a 12-game season, helping the Giants become NFL Champions. His 1,422 total yards from scrimmage led the NFL. Gifford was awarded the NFL’s “Most Valuable Player Award” after the regular season and capped off the campaign by scoring a touchdown in the Giants 47-7 romp over the Chicago Bears in the NFL Championship Game.

Gifford played in three more Championship Games with the Giants. Despite all being losses, Gifford’s star continued to rise. Gifford performed with style, making his on-field feats look easy and he was even smoother off it. If Mel Hein was the Football Giants Lou Gehrig, then Gifford was their Joe DiMaggio. Gifford remained humble amidst the star treatment, and was always complimentary of the opposition and shared praise with his teammates. He often credited his blockers as a halfback (especially tackle Roosevelt Brown and fullback Mel Tripplett) and said Del Shofner made it easy for him as a receiver by drawing away coverage.

Gifford had his own locker room radio show after games and hosted the sports segment on the local news during the offseason, while also having bit parts in Hollywood movies. He added five more Pro Bowls to his resume and was named first-team All Pro four times. A thunderous collision with Philadelphia’s Hall of Fame linebacker Chuck Bednarick in 1960 nearly ended his career with a spinal concussion. After sitting out the 1961 season, Gifford attempted to defy the odds and return at a new position.

Frank Gifford, New York Giants at Pittsburgh Steelers (September 30, 1962)

Frank Gifford, New York Giants at Pittsburgh Steelers (September 30, 1962)

A new coaching regime arrived in 1961 with Allie Sherman as the head coach and Y.A. Tittle as the quarterback. Gifford made the transition to flanker where he would be subjected to fewer violent hits, much like his teammate Kyle Rote had done after several injury-plagued seasons. After a slow start to the 1962 season, Gifford became acclimated to his new role and built chemistry with his quarterback. His 39 catches were third on the team and his 796 receiving yards were second (averaging over 20 yards per catch). He was named the “NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year.” His 1963 season was just as good and Gifford played in his eighth Pro Bowl at his third position. He is still the only player to have done so.

Gifford retired after the 1964 season. At that time, his 3,609 rushing yards and 367 receptions were both second in team history, and his 5,434 receiving yards were first. Gifford’s 78 total touchdowns remain the team standard to this day, and his total points scored of 484 (which includes two field goals and 10 point-afters) ranks fourth. His 14 touchdown passes are the most by a non-quarterback in NFL history.

Gifford then embarked on a second career that may have eclipsed his football success. He served as a color commentator for CBS’s coverage of NFL games from 1965 through 1970, and was in the booth for the full broadcast of the first NFL-AFL Championship Game on January 15, 1967. Gifford took over as the play-by-play announcer for ABC’s Monday Night Football broadcasts in 1971. Monday Night Football became a major prime time event during the mid-to-late 1970’s, taking on a life of its own with its circus-like atmosphere. Gifford was at its epicenter as he shared the booth with the cantankerous Howard Cosell and easy-going Don Meredith.

Frank Gifford and Lawrence Taylor, New York Giants (November 3, 2014)

Lawrence Taylor and Frank Gifford – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Gifford was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977, where he was proudly presented by friend and Giants owner Wellington Mara. Twenty years later, Gifford returned the favor and presented Wellington at his induction in 1997.

Gifford became the face of ABC Sports, anchoring Wide World of Sports, covering the Olympic Games, golf, and occasionally hosting the morning news program Good Morning America. Gifford continued as Monday Night Football’s from 1987 through 1997 before retiring from broadcasting for good in 1998.

Gifford’s number 16 was retired by the Giants prior to the 2000 season. It was the 12th number retired by the franchise, and none has been retired since.